UTSA-MS Smart Imaging for Solar Photon-to-energy Conversion and Predictions for Distributed Grid Operations

Camargo, Alejandro
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Solar forecasting has been gaining a lot of attention as solar power becomes more visible in the electric grid. Solar forecasting is used as a means to help with the bidding of electricity by the utility and to help grid operators balance the power generated with the power being demanded, to name a few uses. In order to conduct intra-hour solar forecasting, a ground based image collection apparatus is usually used to gather images of the sky. While conducting intra-hour solar forecasting research with such imaging apparatus in the University of Texas at San Antonio, the opportunity to build a next generation super-resolution imager came about.

This thesis describes the construction of the UTSA-MS (Macroscope), a super-resolution sky imaging measurement system that collects and intelligently tracks sky conditions and weather patterns that can be used for intra-hour solar forecasting. The thesis includes technical discussion on the 6 systems or elements of R&D making up the imager: (1) imaging and environmental sensor data collection, (2) data processing/analytics, (3) pan and tilt sensors and controls, (4) power management, (5) sensors' wired and wireless communications and (6) support structure. It also includes the image processing algorithms written that construct a wide panorama of the whole sky. The thesis will finally show the image outputs of the UTSA-MS and compare them to image outputs from another imager (TSI).

This item is available only to currently enrolled UTSA students, faculty or staff.
imager, intra hour solar forecasting, Solar Forecasting
Electrical and Computer Engineering